Where did this year go? I feel like I blinked my eyes and *poof* my newborn baby has been on this earth and in our lives for 365 days.
For those of you just joining my life, I found out I had a brain tumor when I was 27 weeks pregnant with him. I'm still in the middle of writing my story, however as you can imagine it was a pretty scary time! I had what was called a "partial onset seizure" where my speech went in and out and I lost feeling in my right arm for a few minuets. There was no way to tell what exactly was causing the problem until after he was born. When you're pregnant, they won't want to do an MRI with contrast because it can go into your babies system. At this time there wasn't a way to see exactly what caused a bleed, I had multiple CT scans and an MRI to show that there was a bleed that occurred in my brain. So for the remainder of my pregnancy I was at 2-3 different doctors almost everyday.
As I write about what happened, I often think, "Did this really all happen?" I think I'm somewhat traumatized from that very first day of my seizure. I had to tell a billion different nurses and doctors what happened while in the ICU and by day 4 it started to cause severe anxiety. Why is that you ask? Because I would see the reaction on each persons face. Their eyes would get huge and no one knew exactly what was wrong with me. In all honesty, I think what caused the severe anxiety was the Keppra they put me on. Steve thankfully got the hint and would take over talking for me and would explain yet again what had happened to each new Nurse and Doctor. This went on for months. Each new person. Person after person after person. I shouldn't complain, each person was truly worried. But how many freaking times can you explain what happened. Isn't that in the chart?! It is actually. I've seen each Doctors notes. One Doctors wrote out "I was a nice lady." hahaha...
The first Doctor I met with, my husband was not in the room yet, and he was really cold. He basically told me "We need to take this baby out of you in the next 24 hours and see what's going on in your head." I of course was like, "HUH?" I wouldn't see another doctor or Steve for a little while longer. When Steve showed up I of course lost it and started crying.
The next doctor that came in would end up being my neurosurgeon. She came in and seriously calmed us down and the entire OBGYN staff. It's not everyday that you have the NURO department AND the OB department working together. One doctor called my situation a "head scratcher" and my case became a pretty popular one he said! haha. I'm pretty sure my neurosurgeon knew what was going on, but she told us she wasn't worried, that it was probably a long term problem and not an immediate problem. My OB said to be safe, I'd have to have a C-Section and most likely be put under. Which scared the living day light out of me because I've never dealt with either. UGG.
My entire stay at the hospital was great. I laughed and joked with each new person who came in. The entire staff was incredibly awesome. Well except for that one jerk Doctor. But it's all good. I've learned a lot about personalities of brain doctors. haha! Even though this whole situation was scary, I got to be in charge of how I wanted to handle this situation. You can either be happy and accept what's happening, or you can remain a total stress case. I can tell you the 2nd one is bad for your mental and physical health.
Needless to say, I didn't have Owen at 27 weeks (thank God) and I was able to push the date to about 3 weeks early, a day after he would no longer be deemed "premature." They did however give me a shot of steroids to pump up his lungs while in the ICU. This did this just incase there was a problem and we had to deliver early.
The entire pregnancy went smoothly. He was always healthy and growing like he should. Every ultrasound he looked beautiful. He measured right where he should. I continued to take good care of my body and fed it right. About 11 months before this photo I decided to make a lifefstyle change and get super healthy. Thanks goodness I did. I had no idea what would come over this next year. My energy levels were always high and I always felt great. Aside from the seizure meds they have had me on. Feel free to shoot me an e-mail if you need that kind of help, I spend a big chunk of my day showing people how to spin their life into a healthy one, especially brain tumor friends and all types of survivors. As well as making cool art pieces, being a mom, etc. ;)
Anyways, we made it to the end of my pregnancy and the day before my C-Section we had a call with our anesthesiologist. He said that he didn't feel it was in our best interest to put me under and my neurosurgeon agree. I can't tell you how happy I was. Not only was I going to be awake for the birth of my last kid, but I didn't have to fear being put under. It took a lot of weight off my shoulders.
The day came and we were off to the hospital. It was really quiet and peaceful. They hooked me up to all the monitors and put my I.V in, which I hate. Thankfully I had a great nurse who knew what she was doing. I know some of you know what I'm talking about.
An hour later it was time and we walked to the theater room. My nurse was so great. I had met so many of the OB staff months before in the ICU and it was great to see familiar faces. It really put me at ease. When they opened the door it was SO bright! I walked into the room and they had me sit on the table. I was mortified to get a spinal block. I had two failed epidurals before and I was scared I would feel everything. I absolutely talked to my anesthesiologist about that and he assured me it was going to be O.K. My one tip is to keep great communication as he is putting that needle in. I felt it more on the left and he adjusted it. It went perfectly! I remember my legs starting to get numb as my nurse friend helped me lay on the table and I whined "I don't want to do this!" and she said, "You got this, I'm right here!" I mean, obviously I was excited to meet this kid, but you know, one step at a time! Once on the table they let Steve come in.
Both of my OB's came in and the procedure began. They were laughing and joking the entire time. It really kept me at ease since that's my kind of sense of humor! But you know, I still was waiting to feel pain or something. But you'll be happy to know, I never felt anything other than a little pressure. *Yea!*
My one doctor who was like in his early 70's is a total goof ball. My nurse friend stayed right by my head as well as Steve. I can't remember the conversations we had but before I knew it, I felt tons of pressure and out popped Mr. Owen! It took a moment before I heard him cry and the moment he did I was SO relieved! I asked "Is he O.K?" and everyone said "Yes!"
You know, going through all this stupid brain stuff you worry that somehow it would effect your unborn baby. The moment my OB cut the cord he peed on her. HAHA and they let me see him really quick. He was a total chub at 3 weeks early! He weighed 7 lbs 7 oz. A total Vegas baby, right? Steve asked if I wanted him to go over with the baby but I told Steve to stay with me as they finished sewing me up. Then when it was time to wheel me to the recovery room, he left to go with the baby.
I got the shakes from the spinal block, which I was prepared for. It just feels like you're cold and you shiver. I learned about that while preparing for my C-Section and it really wasn't a big deal. It lasted for a couple hours. It doesn'tt happen to everyone but it's a possibility. Owen came into the recovery room for a bit once he was all cleaned up. I stayed in the recovery room for about 4 hours and then they wheeled me back into our room.
They brought Mr.Owen in and we spent the next 4 or 5 days there. He met his brothers and other family members too! I did go in for an MRI with contrast 4 days after his delivery during our hospital stay. It showed my brain tumor. We finally knew what was going on, which in a weird way gave me peace. I felt thankful as lots of my other brain tumor friends don't get to know what's wrong with them right away. For now I was just happy to be alive and that my child was super duper healthy.
This last year has been a crazy one. 3 months after I had Owen, I went in for Brain Surgery. I have so many stories to tell! This kid has been the easiest child ever. He's always happy, he loves all food, he sleeps well and he's been such a blessing in our lives. We can't imagine life without him.
I'm so thankful for everyone at Spring Valley Hospital here in Las Vegas. If you're having any brain issues, or planning on delivering your newborn baby somewhere here, I absolutely recommend this hospital. We had originally planned on delivery Owen at Summerlin Hospital, but they don't have a Nuro department there (well as of when I was there) so it made sense to keep all my Doctors in one place. Delivery and brain surgery. Ya know?